Public radio’s music station network rebrands to avoid ‘confusion’

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VuHaus, the public radio music station network, is rebranding to VuHaus Group.

It’s a slight change, but VuHaus Group brand manager Mike Henry said it was necessary to “alleviate any confusion as we moved our live video performance, live streaming platform over to NPR Music,” Henry said. It was “critical that our stations knew and the industry as a whole knows that the VuHaus Group is unaffected” by the rebranding of its original platform as Live Sessions, he said.

VuHaus, which developed a digital video platform for music discovery, was created in 2015 by a group of public radio Triple A stations. Last year, the platform moved to NPR’s website under the name Live Sessions.

“Live Sessions is a huge part of what we do, but not the only thing we do, so we thought that a name change would help provide some clarity,” said COO Chris Kirchner.

VuHaus Group will continue to curate and control the Live Sessions platform on NPR Music, but it’s also pursuing “new distribution points,” including with PBS, according to Henry.

The name change won’t affect the services and support the organization provides to its 19 affiliate stations, Henry said. “The only change would be the addition of new activities in the future,” Henry said. “There’s no cutback. This isn’t a downsizing or anything approaching that.”

VuHaus Group and its affiliate stations work together on Slingshot, an editorial collaboration with NPR Music to highlight up-and-coming musicians. VuHaus Group also works on behalf of affiliates to sell sponsorships for editorial projects.

Moving forward, Henry said he sees PBS as a “logical endgame for Vuhaus Group station video content.”

The VuHaus Group affiliates include dual licensees, “so the prospect of perhaps repurposing and reshaping our station video content for PBS is, I think, a possibility,” Henry said. The group is also looking into over-the-top TV delivery and other forms of direct-to-consumer distribution. 

But Henry was mum on where those projects stand: “Certain things are further along than others.”

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